Throughout Syrian conflict the relations between Beijing and Damascus went uninterrupted — PRC's diplomatic mission continued its work as did the Russian embassy.
China issued loans to the Syrian government and provided military supplies to the army — camouflage, equipment, transport and some light weapons.
Chinese Ambassador to Damascus Qi Qianjin said in an interview with Al Watan Daily that Uyghur separatists from the Xinjiang Autonomous District of China participated in military operations against Syrian government on terrorists' side and now maintain a presence in Idlib de-escalation zone.
«There are members of „Islamic Party of Turkestan” (IPT, „Hizb al-Islami At-Turkestani”) among the militants in Idlib, which is jihadist organization seeking to create an Islamic state in Xinjiang,» Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) quotes the diplomat.
«They are following the path of terrorism in Idlib and sending militants to Syria». «They are connected with „Al-Qaeda” and are active mainly in Idlib region and Jabal-Turkuman mountains in the northern part of Latakia,» Qi Qianjin added.
MEMRI also quotes Chinese military attache Wong Roy Chang: he underlined the ongoing cooperation between the Syrian and Chinese armies, denied the presence of military advisers and special forces, but pointed out that situation in Idlib needs «political solution».
That is the official position. But experts believe that China supports annihilation of the terrorists' nest in Idlib zone through unofficial channels including military measures.
It is to note that on May 21, IPT released a video called «Hijra to Allah» where it called the Muslims of the West to «armed jihad». Authors of the video quote Osama bin Laden and remind 9/11 attacks.
The Long War Journal English website reports that IPT's headquarters is located in the city of Jisr Al-Shugur on the border of Ildib province with mountainous Latakia and the Al-Gab valley in Hama province. New commanders of the group arrived there from Afghanistan some time ago.
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